House GOP Will Force Vote on Stand-Alone Debt Limit Bill

Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:06am

House Republicans are planning to hold a test vote on the debt ceiling debate as early as next week.

GOP leaders told their Conference on Tuesday that they plan to take up a stand-alone debt ceiling bill to lay down a marker for the ongoing debate.

Though they expect the measure will fail, the move is an attempt to show Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama that significant offsets are needed to increase the debt ceiling.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced the bill Tuesday that will increase the national debt limit by $2.4 trillion. Still, Camp said in a statement that he strongly opposes the measure.

“Let me be clear: I do not support and will not vote for a debt limit increase that does not contain significant spending cuts and budgetary reforms,” Camp said. “Our current path is unsustainable and unacceptable. We must force Washington to live within its means, and any deal on the debt limit should include real reforms — including entitlement programs like Medicare.”

Lawmakers appointed by Congressional leaders in both parties have been negotiating for weeks with Vice President Joseph Biden on a debt limit deal that could include cuts to spending and possibly entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Those Biden talks are set to resume Tuesday afternoon.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told Congress that the government risks defaulting on its obligations without a debt limit increase by Aug. 2.